At BookTrust we place a high priority on understanding the impact of our programmes, including what works, for which families and in what conditions.
For over 20 years, we’ve been building a body of evaluation that helps us to continually learn about how to inspire children to read for pleasure.
Our programmes and activities:
- Support families to share books early and often.
- Help families who need extra support to increase their confidence and skills in booksharing.
- Help bring children and families together around books and stories.
- Engage children and families with local libraries and children's centres where they are supported to continue their reading journey.
- Support children to read more widely and more often.
- Support children at all ages and stages to develop or sustain a love of reading.
- Helps practitioners to encourage and promote a love of reading.
Books given to children
In 2018-19 BookTrust:
- Gifted 4 million books
- Reached 3.9 million children
- Sent 80,499 Letterbox Club parcels to children in care across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
We support families to share books early and often
- 94% of Bookstart Baby practitioners said the programme encouraged parents or carers to share books with children at an earlier age, and 90% said it promoted shared reading with babies (aged 0-12 months) as part of a daily routine.
- 83% of Bookstart Treasure practitioners said the programme increased the frequency that the parent or carer read with their child aged 3-4.
'Parents are fascinated to learn how quickly their baby's brain is developing and the positive impact talking and sharing books can have...Most parents had not considered reading or using books with their baby at the 6-8 week stage.'
Health visitor and Bookstart Baby gifter
We help families who need extra support to increase their confidence and skills in booksharing
- 93% of practitioners said Bookstart Corner parents or carers were more confident about reading with their child aged 12-24 months after taking part in the programme.
- Parents or carers increased the use of booksharing skills to bring stories alive and encourage interaction and engagement with stories after taking part in Bookstart Corner. Parents or carers were twice as likely to say they used puppets and toys to act out stories with their child (from 33% before to 65% after), and more likely to ask questions when reading together (from 68% before to 89% after).
'Mum lacks confidence in her own ability, however over the weeks with encouragement, she can do it and for the first time on the last visit mum read some books with me supporting her. Mum struggles with long words, however she did really well.'
Family support worker and Bookstart Corner practitioner
We help bring children and families together around books and stories
- 91% of Bookstart Baby practitioners said the programme provides opportunities for parent - baby bonding.
- 64% of Time to Read parents/carers said they spent quality time with their child aged 4-5 as a result of receiving Time to Read.
- 93% of Story Hunters parents/carers said that their child (aged 8-9) had used the books and resources with others at home.
- 63% of School Library Pack librarians said the School Library Pack has encouraged students to engage in more discussions about books.
'My son shared the stories with his two younger sisters who absolutely loved it. Not only did they enjoy the stories but the time with each other.'
Story Hunters parent (Harris, 2017)
We engage children and families with local libraries and children's centres where they are supported to continue their reading journey
97% of Bookstart Corner practitioners reported that parents used services or attend sessions at the children's centre after taking part in the programme.
- 59% of Time to Read librarians said it increased library loans to children aged 4-5 and their parents and carers.
- 50% of Bookstart families who were not already members of the library, joined after receiving their book pack.
'All parents want the best for their child and Bookstart helps support that. I have seen parents living in hostel accommodation and therefore facing a daily struggle to parent their child, accessing the library as a result of Bookstart.'
Health Visitor and Bookstart gifter
'Bookstart Baby packs encourage parents to visit the library with their baby, as their baby grows they look for more books to share and enjoy.'
Library development manager and Bookstart gifter
We support children to read more widely and more often
83% of Bookbuzz staff said Bookbuzz encouraged students to read more, and 80% said it inspired students to try new authors or genres.
- 81% of special school staff said the Special School Library Pack would support a culture of wider and more frequent reading.
We support children at all ages and stages to develop or sustain a love of reading
- 93% of Bookstart Treasure practitioners said that Bookstart Treasure increased children's interest and enjoyment of books at age 3-4.
- 89% of Bookbuzz coordinators said that the programme had given students (aged 11-13) a more positive attitude to reading, and 54% of students said they enjoyed reading more because of Bookbuzz.
- 94% of Letterbox Club coordinators said that the books provided in the Letterbox parcels were very suitable for the children who received them.
'For children with special educational needs, who are often surrounded by 'special' resources and equipment and stuff, a book is a bit unique because it is, how can I put it, its 'normal' and what I mean is it is something 'ordinary' that people use in the wider world and that carries no 'special' stigma. It is really nice for children and families to enjoy that ordinariness. This is why books are so important.'
'Our children really appreciate receiving their parcel through the post with their name on. It shows them we care and know who they are and where they live. It also encourages reading as they look forward to receiving the parcels and to see which book they are having.'
We help practitioners to encourage and promote a love of reading
74% of school librarians said the School Library Pack increased their knowledge of new books and authors (for children and young adults) and 69% of practitioners said the same about Beyond Booked Up.
- 88% of Bookstart Corner practitioners were more confident about engaging with families about books and reading as a result of Bookstart Corner.
'The arrival of the book packs always causes great excitement and this generates opportunities to foster a love of books/stories'.
Early years practitioner and Bookstart Treasure gifter